Decline in Covid-19 cases shock health experts

covid-19 cases

Experts are yet to explain the reduction in the covid-19 cases.

As of Monday, only nine patients with critical COVID-19 were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Mulago National Referral hospital.

Fourteen others were admitted to the hospital’s High Dependency Unit (HDU) which would admit up to 300 patients at the same time at the height of the second wave of the pandemic mid this year.

Dr Rosemary Byanyima, the Hospital Deputy Executive Director said that they had stocked up Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Oxygen and more space in preparation for the third wave that was feared in October but for the last two months they have been admitting two to four patients in their 27-bed capacity ICU daily.

The highest they have had in the whole treatment unit since August she says has been 35 patients.

Byanyima has no definite explanation for this but attributes the continued low numbers on the stringent measures at the Entebbe International Airport where they could be picking early on those that come in with the virus before going into the community.

She said though the admissions at Mulago may not be giving the real picture of the extent of infections since they have decided to exclusively treat those with a critical illness.

The latest model by the National Planning Authority (NPA) shows the numbers could further go down this week.

While Uganda had an average of 61 new cases per day last week, the model predicts a decline to 56 for this week that ends on November 6.

Dr Daniel Kyabayinze, an Epidemiologist based at the Ministry of Health says previously they have predicted waves based on the behaviour of the virus itself and spreader events where they have observed people who go to markets as spreaders.

He said what they can’t predict is the behaviour of the people which is the reason why they worry the country can have a rebound of infections even as the epi-curve has flattened for long.

On some days, Kyabayinze says they see abrupt spikes which they can’t exactly explain the cause.

He says they base on weekly averages to determine how the pandemic is going.

Even as the numbers have remained low, the doctor says they are not testing enough numbers to give them the true trends of infections since in some places adequacy of testing is still very low.

He added that the only way for Uganda to be on the safe side is by having as many people getting vaccinated.

Uganda has vaccinated less than 10% of the population they initially targeted to inoculate. According to the latest figures from the Health Ministry, 3,189,173 have so far been administered whereby the majority have only got their first dose.

The country plans to vaccinate about 21million people to be on the safe side.

Overall, since the pandemic hit in March 2020, the country has recorded a total of 126, 236 cases whereby 3,215 have succumbed

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